This morning I sketched on location at Misson Trails park in San Diego. It is near my house. My usual sketch kit consists of a waterproof black pen, travel watercolor set, paper towel, small bottle of water and some textures, and a sketch book. Currently I am using a Strathmore Visual Journal, 5.5×8, watercolor book. I use Pigma 01 and 03, stadler pens or Prismacolor in waterproof black. Today I did my sketch with an elegant writer pen by Speedball. It has a calligraphy tip and bleeds when you touch it with water. I have 3 watercolor sets. Two are the Koi by Sakura in 12 and 24 colors. I like these because they come with a wonderful water brush. I also carry an extra water brush, green in color, by Kuretake. I like my windsor-newton paint set because it is so tiny, but it only comes with a small travel brush. Water brushes are so convenient because you don’t need an extra water source. I carry the small hotel shampoo size water as a back-up or to wet the brush when it isn’t flowing as much as I’d like.
My process is to sketch in pen on location getting down simple lines. I am not interested in making a realistic, detailed painting…only my impression of the scene. I guess I do okay as two of my travel journals have been published in Somerset studio’s ArtJournaling magazine. After the sketch I will watercolor in the scene ignoring lines I may have made in error. Then I may add details with the pen again.
So, give it a try. Sketching on location will enhance your experience. You will see details you may have missed and remember the scene more vividly later.